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5 Highlights of Cure Medical Catheters

by Jessica April 14 2016 08:49

Buying the right catheter for your individual needs can make a difference in terms of cost, comfort, safety, and results. We carry quality products from all of the top name-brands on the market today, including GentleCath, Rusch, Bard, and more!

Just one of the many brands that we offer is Cure Medical. Here are some of the highlights and benefits of this particular brand of intermittent catheters:

  1. Latex-free: Not everyone has to worry about latex allergies, but it's important to know that a latex allergy can develop at any time. In most cases, it's best to just avoid the risk. Cure Medical catheters are 100% latex-free. 

    cure straight intermittent catheter
  2. Free of other allergens and chemical compounds: Have you heard of BPA or DEHP? Many people haven't, but these are compounds found in many common objects made of plastic. Research shows that BPA and DEHP can leech out of those plastics, and when they get into the body, they can possibly cause some issues. Both compounds are linked to thyroid problems, and DEHP is linked to a number of conditions including obesity, cancer, fertility issues, and immune disorders. Cure Medical guarantees that their catheters are BPA and DEHP-free.

  3. Easy to use: The guiding principle behind the development of Cure Medical's catheters was not only to make them safe but also easy for the average person to use. 

  4. Benefits a good cause: Cure Medical donates 10% of all their profits to medical research to find a cure for central nervous system disorders and spinal cord injuries. 


180 Medical is proud to carry a wide array of products from Cure, as well as many others. When you order your intermittent catheters from 180 Medical, you can be sure you're receiving a quality product. 
brands
Of course, the choice of which catheter to use is highly personal and depends on many factors, so no single brand or type of catheter is going to be right for everyone across the board. Please consult with your health care professional to discuss what type might be best for your needs, or contact one of our friendly, highly-trained specialists to discuss your options.

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14 Dos and Don'ts of Self-Cathing

by Jessica February 25 2016 21:38
At 180 Medical, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to stay as healthy as possible, especially when it comes to your catheterization needs. If your doctor or nurse practitioner has prescribed a regimen of self-catheterization, you're not alone. Many people all over the world use catheters every day to help them empty their bladder. All it takes is a little practice. 

Here are some helpful tips:

dos and donts of self cathing

DO:

  1. Gather all your supplies before beginning.
  2. Maintain as sterile an environment for yourself as possible. If you're away from home, we know that can be a little more difficult, since you can't control how clean a public restroom is. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before catheterization and/or put on gloves before beginning. You may also wish to use antiseptic wipes to clean the area before inserting the catheter. A kit of insertion supplies may further to make the procedure more sterile and prevent possible infections. washing hands
  3. Follow the schedule for self-cathing that your healthcare professional prescribed for your specific condition. Stay on the self-catheterization schedule that your healthcare professional instructed you to follow. If you miss your scheduled time, catheterize as soon as you're able to do so. 
  4. Use the right catheter product for your needs, based on your doctor's instructions. 180 Medical has a wide array of all the top brands and types of intermittent catheters, including straight, coude, hydrophilic, closed systems, pediatric, and more. Our highly-trained product specialists would love to help you find the catheter that works and feels best for you. 
  5. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fresh water is good for your urinary system and your whole body. 
  6. Make sure you are using your catheters correctly. Follow the instructions given by your healthcare professional. 180 Medical also carries helpful instructional booklets and DVDs for supplemental education. 
  7. Ask if your insurance plan covers catheter supplies. We are contracted with thousands of plans, and we can contract your insurance for you to find out what kinds of catheter products are covered and how many you could get per month for your specific needs, per your healthcare professional's recommendation. 

DON'T:

  1. Don't reuse catheters. The FDA considers intermittent catheters to be only good for a single use. Studies show that sterile use (using a catheter one time and then disposing of it) reduces risk of urinary tract infections. Most major insurance companies today cover enough catheters for sterile use, because they know that reusing catheters often leads to infections, which can end up costing insurance companies more money. 
  2. Don't use someone else's catheters. We've gotten a few questions before where someone's friend or family member no longer need to use their catheters, and they have a few leftover which they offered to give away. It's risky to use a catheter that is prescribed for someone else, because everyone's body is different. For instance, some people require a coude tip to bypass urethral strictures, when a straight tip catheter just won't do. There are different lengths and French sizes to consider as well. When in doubt, consult your healthcare professional. 
  3. Don't use petroleum jelly to lubricate your catheter. It's best to use sterile water-soluble lubrication to lessen chances of infection and make the catheterization experience more comfortable. 
  4. When using a hydrophilic catheter, don't forget to burst the water packet, which activates the bonded lubrication, making the tube slippery and ready to use. 
  5. Don't forget to bring your catheter supplies with you wherever you go. For more information on catheterizing in public restrooms, go here for a detailed blog by an actual catheter-user.
  6. Don't ignore the signs of a urinary tract infection: fever, chills, aching in the lower back, cloudy or smelly urine, and burning sensations. See your doctor to have tests run and cultures taken at the first sign, so that it can be treated properly. 
  7. Don't worry too much. Remember that many people self-cath every day. As you continue, it will get easier, and eventually you'll be a seasoned pro. 
180 Medical has provided superior service and quality catheter and ostomy supplies to customers for years. Give us a call or contact us on live chat to see why so many choose and stay with us for their much-needed supplies. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of self-catheterization. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, or consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider.


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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

Understanding the Difference Between Catheter Types

by Jessica November 19 2015 18:27
understanding the types of catheters

Getting acclimated to using a catheter on a regular basis can seem daunting at first. It can feel like a big change in regards to your life and daily schedule. Finding out as much information as you can about catheterization may help you feel more comfortable with the process. The first thing you'll want to understand will be the differences between the various types of catheters that are available to you. As always, consult your doctor before purchasing or using any sort of medical device. 

Let's examine the two main types of urological catheters that are inserted to drain the bladder.
gentlecath catheters

Intermittent Catheters

These types of catheters are typically inserted via the urethra or a stoma, and then once the bladder is drained, the catheter is thrown away after each use. Your doctor or healthcare practitioner will teach you how to insert the catheter yourself, since you will likely be doing this on a regular basis, and they will let you know how often to cath via a prescribed or recommended schedule.

Intermittent catheters come in a variety of optionsstraight tip, coudé tip (for those who are unable to pass straight tip due to strictures, blockages, etc.), and varying lengths, including male, female, and pediatric length.

There are three main sub-types of intermittent catheters to know about.


Straight Catheters
This type of intermittent catheter is the first, original type of urinary catheter, although they have come a long way since the first catheter's invention. This catheter is uncoated, so each one must be manually lubricated prior to insertion. This can be done with the use of individual packets or tubes of sterile lubrication. These are also available in travel-sized pocket catheters, which come in a curved or U-shaped package and can be discreetly tucked into your pocket for easy carrying


straight male catheters



Hydrophilic Catheters
Hydrophilic catheters are similar to straight catheters when it comes to the options for various lengths, straight or coudé tip, and pocket catheter or travel-ready options. The main difference is that hydrophilic catheters have a unique coating which, when activated by water, becomes lubricated and ready to use with no need for additional lubricant, as well as less mess and effort.


hydrophilic male catheters



Closed System Catheters
Closed system catheters are sterile catheters that are typically in a self-contained, all-in-one package with a collection bag. Often a great choice for those in wheelchairs, closed system catheters often come with additional insertion supplies like gloves, an underpad, and antiseptic wipes to minimize the risk of infection. They are pre-lubricated and come with an introducer tip to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the urethra as you insert the catheter. 


male closed system catheters



All of the above-mentioned types of intermittent catheters are typically available in a variety of options, depending on the brand you choose, including:

Indwelling Foley Catheters

If your doctor has determined that you'll need to use a catheter for a long period of time (or even indefinitely), and an intermittent catheter is not an option for whatever reason, then you may have an indwelling, or foley, catheter inserted.

This type of catheter is usually placed in your bladder while at your doctor's office, a hospital, or other healthcare facility. A foley catheter is typically inserted through the urethra (unless this is no longer a viable entry-point, in which case they can be placed through a stoma). Rather than draining the bladder and then throwing the catheter away, this type of catheter is held in place by a small balloon that is inflated once the insertion tip has reached the bladder, and it can stay in for days or even weeks, depending on a doctor's recommendation.

The downside of using a foley catheter is that it can leave you more susceptible to urinary tract and/or bladder infections, since it is left inside the body for long periods of time. 

At 180 Medical, we carry all the major catheter brands and types, so you have the option to sample what might work best for you and the freedom of choice to pick the brand you prefer.

male intermittent catheter brands


There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing from the various types of catheters available on the market today. Your doctor can help you determine what kind will be best for your needs. 

With the right research and professional guidance, you'll be able to make this transition as easily as possible. Contact us at 180 Medical to start receiving the right intermittent catheters for you!


180 medical customer review



Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide a general understanding of product options that are available on the market. This information should not be used in place of your prescribing professional healthcare provider's recommendations, based on your personal anatomy and individual needs. Please consult with your doctor to find what type of catheter may be right for you. 



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Does It Matter What Brand of Catheter You Use?

by Jessica November 10 2015 11:57
For some, the topic of catheters can seem overwhelming, especially for individuals who are new to learning to self-cath. Whether you'll be using intermittent catheters temporarily or on a long-term basis, you’ll be surprised by how simple the process can be once you’re familiar with it. Don’t get too overwhelmed by all the information out there, and know that you are not alone when it comes to catheterization. Plenty of people every day begin to self-cath and are becoming more comfortable with it as they go. Just take it one day at a time.

gentlecath closedOne point of confusion about catheters that our customers sometimes encounter is trying to figure out which particular product to use. While your doctor will serve as a great resource in determining what type of catheter is best for you to use, there are some decisions you can make on your own, such as what brand of catheter to buy. 

So, does it really matter what brand of catheter you use? There are some product differences from brand to brand, but when you get your catheter supply from a reliable source, you can feel comfortable in knowing you’ll be taken care of. Reputable and well-known medical supply companies such as 180 Medical carry a wide selection of quality products from all of the top brands today, so you can rest assured that you’ll find the right product for your needs. 

Even so, there are leading brands in the industry with which you might want to be familiar: Bard, Coloplast, GentleCath, HollisterMTG, Rochester, Rusch, LoFric, Cure, and Hi-Slip, just to name a few.

brands


180 Medical is proud to carry a wide array of products from these well-known brands and many others. When you order your intermittent catheters from 180 Medical, you can be sure you're receiving a quality product. Adjusting to life with a catheter can take time, so it's our goal to make the process of purchasing them as easy and convenient as possible. We have one-of-a-kind instructional materials available as well, which can help you see and understand the self-cathing procedures with step-by-step catheterization instructions in print and on DVD. We have material available for men, women, girls, and boys. We also have catheter users on staff who can share their experiences and tips.

Contact us today to discuss your options and find the right brand for your needs!

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4 Things to Look For When You Need Female Catheters

by Jessica October 1 2015 17:53
Whether you have just been instructed to start using intermittent catheters or you’ve been using them for years, it’s understandably pretty tough to find the right female catheter supplier who meets all of your needs. There are many catheter suppliers out there making big claims about what they have to offer, but not all are equal in terms of giving you unparalleled service on all fronts. Here are some things to look for as you seek out the right company for your intermittent catheter supply needs.

1. Personalized, superior customer service.

Your time is valuable, and your medical needs should be a top priority to a supplier. Look for companies that deliver unparalleled customer service. Instead of long hold times or automated menus, a company that cares about your needs will deliver a quick response time from a live person when you call customer support or access live chat on their website.  When you speak with someone, you should be treated as more than just another number. Good supply companies will have knowledgeable representatives who really listen, understand your needs, and help find the right intermittent female catheter for you, based on your prescription, lifestyle, preferences and prior experiences.  

2. Specialization in catheters.

180 medical 100 satisfaction guaranteeThere are lots of medical supply companies out there, but not all of them focus specifically on catheters. Companies that deal with all kinds of medical supplies may seem like a convenient option, but their brand and product availability may be limited, and their staff may not be very well-educated on what type of catheter might be best for your needs. 180 Medical, however, specializes only in intermittent catheters and ostomy products, so they carry all major brands and types, and their trained staff is educated about the product lines they offer and the advantages of each. With employees on staff who are also catheter-users, this particular company can provide firsthand guidance and information on purchasing and using catheters that other companies may not be able to do.

3. Direct Shipping.

Why inconvenience yourself by having to pick up supplies from a pharmacy or paying for shipping each time you order, when you can get your catheter supply delivered directly to your doorstep for free? This not only saves you time and money, it also protects your privacy. A good online female catheter outlet can ship the exact product you need quickly with no hassle.

4. They take care of the paperwork for you.

You’re already dealing with enough in your life. There’s no need to act as the middle man between your doctor’s office and your catheter supplier or have to figure out all the insurance paperwork for billing. Look for a company that can communicate directly with your physician for any needed documentation and bill your insurance for you.

180 Medical can do all this and more for you. Contact us today 
at (877) 688-2729.

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What to Know About Rusch Catheters

by Jessica September 22 2015 21:04
Rusch catheters are one of the many established and trusted name-brand catheters that 180 Medical carries in their inventory.  Before you order or use any catheter, it's important to make sure you know everything you need to in order to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are the basics to think about before choosing a catheter:

  1. Only use a catheter when recommended by your doctor and with proper training – Even though they are frequently used in the home environment, catheters are medical devices and must be used carefully. Only use a catheter when your doctor has recommended it. If your doctor recommends that you discontinue, do not keep using it. Most importantly, catheters should be inserted only by those with the proper training, which means that you will need assistance with them until you have been properly taught. The good news is that you can be shown by the nurse or doctor and can learn how to cath very quickly. 

  2. Make sure you're choosing the right product – No brand is exactly like another. Ask your doctor for their recommendation on what sort of catheter is most appropriate for your particular needs. 180 Medical carries a wide selection of intermittent catheters from all of the most quality brands on the market today, washing hands and Rusch also has a varied line of catheters to give plenty of options. This is good to know, because not every product is going to work for everyone and their specific needs. Ask your doctor for their recommendation on what sort of catheter is appropriate in your particular case. You will also want to get the correct length of catheter, which will be based on whether you are male or female, and the dimensions of your particular body. Females may sometimes prefer male length for more room to grip the catheter, which is also perfectly fine. 

  3. Ensure proper insertion – All intermittent catheters are sterile and in packaging, but you may want to clean the area surrounding your urethra to minimize the amount of bacteria and lessen the risk of infection. Depending on the type of catheter you get, you may need to lubricate it for the smoothest insertion. Regular straight catheters may require this, while pre-lubricated, closed system, and hydrophilic catheters will not. Without lubrication, insertion can be painful and even cause damage and irritation to your urethra. This also increases the risk of infection, so having a properly lubricated catheter is a must. After the bladder has been emptied, the catheter should be removed, thrown away, and the area cleaned again. You should always wash your hands thoroughly both before and after the catheterization process.

 If you have any other questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or contact us at 180 Medical! We have the expertise to help you find the right catheter for your needs!

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Catheterizing in Public Restrooms

by billf June 10 2015 08:02
bill f pictureMy name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. Nearly 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Since then, I've been able to help and counsel others who are getting acclimated to life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time talking to our customers on the phone who are new to catheterizing.

One thing I get a lot of questions about is self-catheterization in public restrooms. Naturally, people new to cathing can sometimes feel a little unsure about this - from discretion to how to be as clean as possible while cathing. While some people can schedule their daily plans around their cathing routine so they can be at home when it’s time to self-cath, this can be limiting for those who travel, work, or have an active lifestyle. For most people, there’s not a guarantee you’ll always be at home in the comfort of your own bathroom when it is time to catheterize and empty the bladder. I’ve even spoken to some individuals who have skipped cathing to avoid having to do so in a public place, but this is not advisable, as you could be damaging your bladder and kidneys by holding urine in too long.

As a catheter-user myself, I thought I could help to shed some light on the best methods for self-cathing when you’re not at home. We hope this helps you with some ideas on how to make self-cathing away from home as easy and safe as possible.

Transporting Catheter Supplies

When planning to cath away from your home, whether traveling, working, or just having a day out and about, there are different ways of transporting your supplies with discretion and ease.
  • To make the catheter more discreet when carrying it, you can fold the catheter into a soft U-shape or wrap it around your hand into a circle. You just want to make sure you don’t get a kink in the catheter as this could make it difficult to use. We do offer a male length pocket catheter that comes packaged already in a U-shape for those who don’t like to fold their catheters. 
  • Consider your catheter options. There are pocket catheters, compact catheters, closed systems, and more -- all of which may make your cathing experience away from the home more discreet and convenient, depending on your individual needs. 
  • There are many different options in how to carry your supplies. Many wheelchair users carry their supplies in a bag or backpack and hang it on the back of their chair. Some people are able to carry their supplies in a pocket. I have heard of people using anything from eyeglasses cases to money belts. With time, you can find what will work best for you. Learn more about carrying catheter supplies discreetly in this blog post.

Sterile Preparation and Catheterization

When you are in your own home, you are not exposed to as many germs and bacteria that you may encounter when cathing in a public restroom facility. You can just wash your hands at the sink, go to your toilet or the area designated for your routine, and prepare your supplies accordingly.

However, in a public facility, you never know what the surroundings will be like. It's important to keep the process as sterile as possible so that you can lower your risk of any infection.

Before you enter the stall, be sure to wash your hands with washing hands before catheterizationsoap and water. Once you have entered the stall, there probably won’t be a good, clean surface to set your supplies on. You could bring a paper towel from home to set your supplies on. Some people set their supplies on whatever they use to carry them in. You can sit on the toilet or in your wheelchair and prepare things in your lap.

Make sure your hands and the area of insertion are as clean as possible before inserting a catheter. You will have already washed your hands before entering the stall, and you may also want to use an antibacterial wipe to clean the area of insertion.

If you use a closed system or catheter with a kit, you may have disinfecting wipes or swabs included to use. Some people like to apply some antibacterial gel on their hands as an extra precautionary measure. Many people also use gloves, which are often included with catheter kits as well.

lubricating your catheterIf you are using a catheter with a separate lubrication packet, you may face a few more challenges than you might with an advanced product such as pre-lubricated catheters or catheters with insertion supplies.

With time, you will figure out your own preferred method of applying lubricant to your catheter. Some people tear the lubrication packet open at both ends and run the catheter through the packet to lubricate it. For others who have limited dexterity or strength, opening the packet may require scissors, which would need to be carried with the rest of your supplies. You can also open the catheter packaging about a third of the way down and squeeze the lubrication into the packaging and when pulling the catheter out drag it through the lubrication.

If you are using a pre-lubricated catheter, it should be ready to use right out of the packaging. Hydrophilic catheters will require application of water (usually included in a breakable sachet along with the catheter) in order for the lubrication coating to be activated. Some hydrophilic catheter brands include an easy handling sleeve to help you with handling the catheter and guiding it during insertion without actually touching the surface of the catheter tube. Once you've prepped your supplies, sterilized your hands and the area of insertion, and made sure your catheter is lubricated, you are now ready to catheterize. Once you finish, throw away the used contents in the nearest trash receptacle. Never flush a catheter, collection bag, wipes, or other catheterization accessories down a toilet.


Need more information on the entire catheterization process? We offer helpful catheterization instructions, and we can also send you step-by-step instructional videos on DVD and full-color brochures with your order.

Have more questions? Just give us a call or send us a chat online during business hours. Our staff of catheter experts will be ready to answer any catheterization questions you may have or walk you through the cathing process.  


Related Posts:

catheters 101 10 ways to carry catheters discreetly


bill bio pic 180 medical employee
About the Author:

Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

LoFric Catheters an Option at 180 Medical

by Jessica June 3 2015 12:41
If you have some experience with catheters, then you probably know that the brand and style of catheter can make a big difference in terms of comfort and results. You may have even tried a catheter that was just not right for you at all, leading to discomfort and irritation. And that can be a real problem when you need to use a catheter multiple times a day. You want the catheterization process to be as smooth and comfortable as possible.  

180 Medical carries a wide variety of intermittent catheters from the leading manufacturers and brands available on the market today. We also have a well-trained staff of friendly, knowledgeable customer specialists who can help you with your catheter choice, based on your insurance coverage and personal needs. One of the many brands we offer is Wellspect's line of hydrophilic intermittent catheters called LoFric, which is available in models for men, women, and children. Formerly known as AstraTech, Wellspect has been making high-quality, innovative medical devices for over 65 years now.

lofric catheter

The LoFric line of catheters offer a low-friction method of inserting your catheter as smoothly as possible. They are known for being more comfortable, easier to insert, and they do not require additional lubricant. That’s right – an irritation-free, smooth cathing experience without application of separate lubricant.

This is possible because of the catheter’s hydrophilic coating, which is bonded to the surface of the catheter tube. Once this coating is activated by a small packet of sterile water that is included with the catheter, it becomes super-smooth and ready to insert. Because the hydrophilic coating is bonded to the catheter, you can experience a comfortable, well-lubricated catheterization process from insertion to removal.

This is just one recommendation out of many high-quality and respected brands. What is your preferred line of catheter? Talk to your doctor and call us at 180 Medical to find the catheter that's right for you!

Best Practices for Self-Catheterization

by Jessica December 3 2014 17:59
Intermittent catheters are a type of medical device that can be easily used by patients or their caregivers in the comfort of your own home. However, it is technically considered an invasive device, since it enters the body to drain the bladder. Therefore, it must be used properly to be fully effective and not hurt more than it helps. For instance, UTIs (urinary tract infections) are one of the most common side effects of catheter usage, but these infections and other side effects can be avoided just by following some guidelines:


Tips for Self-Cathing

Make an appropriate selection for your needs.
There are a variety of options available, but you and your treating healthcare provider can decide together what kind of catheter may work best for you.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Size:  To minimize trauma and irritation to your urethra and to maximize urine flow, the correct French size of catheter should be used. Your doctor can work with you to determine what size is most appropriate for your body.
  • Material: Latex catheters were once the most common variety of catheter material, but as increasing numbers of people experience latex allergies, other options such as vinyl and silicone have been created to accommodate for these issues, as well as providing a slightly firmer tube for easier handling.
  • Type:  Intermittent catheters come in a variety of options. Straightcure hydrophilic catheter 180 medical catheters are affordable straight tubes that are manually lubricated and come in coude (curved) insertion tip or rounded straight tip. Your doctor can determine which type of insertion tip works best for your needs. Hydrophilic catheters come ready to lubricate via activation of sterile water, and once activated, they are super slippery for ease of insertion. Closed system catheters come in what are essentially on-the-go kits that allow for sterile and convenient cathing in places like public restrooms. These also often come with an easy introducer tip to help bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra.

Practice proper technique.

Because a catheter is inserted into the urethra, it has the potential to introduce bacteria into the bladder. To minimize infection risks, catheter insertion should only be performed once you have been made aware of how to do so by a health care professional. Once you are home from your doctor's office, the process of self-cathing may feel a little daunting, but with 180 Medical, you have access to specialists who can walk you through it over the phone, as well as learning materials like our DVD and booklets with step-by-step instructions.


Practice proper hygiene.
Intermittent catheters are considered single-use devices, so they should be used only once and then disposed of. While cleaning and reusing catheters may seem appealing to those who are trying to save a bit on medical supply costs, this practice makes UTIs much more likely. When you use a catheter, it’s nearly impossible to get it clean again, since it’s already been inserted into the body and contaminated by bacteria.

Using catheters once, on the other hand, means you will have a more sterile experience each and every time you self-cath. The chances of bacteria being carried into your urethra on the catheter is minimized significantly. Single use of catheters is safer and recommended by medical professionals.

One of the most important things that you will learn is the necessity of a clean environment when cathing. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before starting out. You can also keep some anti-bacterial wipes on hand with you to clean the area before insertion. Other items such as disposable gloves and an underpad to lay your supplies on can be helpful as well.

Hydrophilic Catheters 101

by Jessica November 3 2014 13:43
You may have heard the term "hydrophilic catheter," and your doctor may have even discussed some of the features of this type of newer-technology product. But are you still left with some questions as to how to use a hydrophilic catheter? Or perhaps you wonder what the benefits of using this kind of device could be for you. 180 Medical makes it a point to be an available source of knowledge for you, so we'll try to help shed some light on this topic. 

What is a hydrophilic catheter?

For many years, the most common type of catheter has been the straight catheter, which is most often manually lubricated with a separate form of sterile lubrication jelly. While this is a great option that is certainly tried and true, some people still experience some pain, pressure, and discomfort during the catheterization process, due to the lubrication sloughing off of the catheter during insertion or withdrawal.

Hydrophilic catheters were created in part to help with this very situation, as well as offer a more convenient and quick solution for catheterization on the go. These catheters have a layer of coating of pre-lubrication that is bound to the surface of the tube itself, so that once the lubrication is activated, it will not slough off.

180 medical hydrophilic catheter graphic
Hydrophilic catheters are activated by water or sterile saline solution, which may be present in the catheter package itself or in a separate foil packet. The pre-lubricated coating absorbs water during the activation period and creates a smooth, slippery surface perfect for giving a smooth and comfortable catheterization experience. The coating layer remains intact upon introduction into the urethra and ensures lubrication of the urethra in its entire length.

How do I use a hydrophilic catheter?

how to use a hydrophilic catheter 180 medicalHydrophilic catheters are activated by water or sterile saline solution, which may be present in the catheter package itself or in a separate foil packet.

If the catheter has a packet, you must burst it to release the water and activate the hydrophilic properties of the catheter. In order to do this, simply fold the water packet at the middle and apply pressure with your thumb and forefingers. This should release the solution.   Depending upon the brand of catheter, you'll usually allow approximately 15 to 30 seconds for the solution to fully coat the catheter and activate the hydrophilic coating. At this point, it should be ready for you to insert into the bladder, as you would normally.  

180 Medical also offers one-of-a-kind educational materials with step-by-step instructions, such as our 180 Medical DVD and our How to Cath Booklets for both men and women (offered in English and Spanish). We also have unique and helpful booklets just for kids that help to make the catheterization process more normal and less scary for children and their caregivers/parents. These great booklets also offer instructions and fun activities.

Contact us today if you have more questions!


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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.